In part 1 we previously discussed how not keeping up with law changes and strategies is something that may ruin your estate plan. Mistake #1 is mostly caused by not having a long term relationship with your attorney and not being aware of changes that may affect your plan. Mistake #2 however focuses on your life changes. When changes within your family and relationships occur, it is up to you to contact your attorney and discuss how this will affect your plan.
As an example, the role of successor trustee is a vital part of your plan. This person is in charge of handling your estate if you become incapacitated or pass away, they will be managing assets, communicating with beneficiaries and handling your affairs. This person needs to be reliable, fair and trustworthy. As years go by it’s important for you to still feel comfortable with this person, do you have a good relationship with them? Are they still in your life? Another important role is your Health Care Agent, it’s important to ask yourself “is this person still a good fit?” If they have moved away or you’re not as close to them as you once were you should take that into consideration.
Other family changes that may impact your plan include births which may lead to additional beneficiary, marriages or divorces, deaths or if someone no longer has the ability to act in the role that you have named them for. When you or someone named in your plan experiences what we call a defining moment you should review your estate plan to ensure that it is still up to date and will carry out your wishes.